Ho-Chunk Tribe of Winnebago Nebraska

SUMMARY

With Wipfli as their implementation partner, the Ho-Chunk Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska chose Sage Intacct to gain digital and finance transformation, grant compliance reinforcement, process automation, zero IT maintenance, and real-time and audit-ready financials.

THE SITUATION

Like most tribal governments, Ho-Chunk WTN manages numerous heavily regulated and diverse federal programs. To help support the financial requirements, manage their accounting responsibilities and remain compliant, the Tribe had invested substantially in a well-known legacy fund accounting software that was being used by many tribes nationally.

Over time, the results of the antiquated system proved to be lackluster. Ultimately, the solution failed to meet the Nation’s objectives and requirements.

  • Document management and tracking was still very much a challenge, as it was offered as a bolt-on solution and not included into the actual accounting platform.
  • Dynamic financial reporting outside of basic reports was difficult to create on the fly, and department heads were frustrated.
  • Grant managers and other department heads had minimal access to important information and zero access to real-time critical information about their programs’ budget to actual position.
  • Processes were not automated enough, leading to an ongoing bottleneck in procurement and member payments.
  • The controls in the system were not tight, and there were too many people with access to data that was not meant for their role at the government.
  • Most importantly, multiple sources of data were being entered manually more than once. This led to financials that were not audit ready and required the on-going expense of outside consulting agencies being paid to aid in audit prep.

“When I came on, we weren’t where we needed to be from a systems perspective. In the end, our finance team came to the realization we didn’t have the right tools to help the Nation succeed, and we didn’t have the right professional partner to provide ongoing support and training,” says Alan Post, Chief Financial Officer at Ho-Chunk WTN. “We were lacking a user-friendly accounting software that met our staff’s and the Nation’s needs.”

Ultimately, the current accounting software lacked the proper accounting controls and modern, maintenance-free capabilities that he knew were available with newer systems.

Recognizing these shortcomings, the Ho-Chunk WTN’s newly hired CFO started a search for a new accounting system and an implementation and support firm. The goal was to find a firm with a deep understanding of the challenges tribal governments faced, not just knowledge about software or accounting. The Tribe chose Wipfli and the Sage Intacct software, to great results.

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Relationship Executive(s)

Jason Winkler, Senior Manager, Business Development and Solution Marketing